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Archive for December 2010

Street of… 7 cities – Chocolate Factory

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Seven sisters cities around the world

Thursday, 16th December 2010 – David Franchi

 Seven sisters cities around the worldThe evening for the launch of the blog “Streets of… (7 minutes in 7 cities around the world)” it was a great success. Last 22nd December at the Karamel Club, within the Chocolate Factory, Wood Green, the new blog was presented to numerous people. Alda Terracciano producer, composer and director of the project says: “This blog is a work in progress. We made three video only for this moment: Streets of Naples (Italy), Streets of Mumbai (India) and Streets of Salvador de Bahia (Brazil).

Other cities we want to include in the project are: Shanghai (China), Tangier (Morocco), Luanda (Angola), and of course London (UK).” The meaning of focusing on these seven areas of passing migration is to reconnect people with their collective unconscious memory and shared, political and economic, history. The idea of this project is to explore the ancestral memories of the seven cities. It is a sort of travel around the world, investigating the movement of population, creating the connections in between places and individuals and trying to analyse the general background and analogies of the people worldwide, so the latter at the end could be smaller than what is commonly thought.

This project is a survey on the evidences and memories left in the human body by migratory movements in particular Indo European migrations, the slave trade and the Silk Road and the ways in which shared histories become evident again through people’s everyday gestures, movements and sounds. By focusing on these seven zones of transit migration the installation aims to reconnect people around the world to their collective unconscious memory and shared political and economic history.

The final destination of the project is the London Cultural Olympiads 2012, where the complete video audio installation intends to be exhibited. The blog has been created to give people the opportunity to follow the development of Alda Terracciano’s project. Beside it is also possible to make donations to the project. In addition to the artist’s posts and information on forthcoming events, the blog offers to catch in a glance the creative process by accessing material recorded during the artist’s travels, including rough cuts of video and audio material, interviews to cultural representatives from the cities, personal notes and research.

Alda Terracciano is a well known video sound artist, theatre dramaturge and researcher and artistic Director of ALDATERRA productions. She is Founding Chair of Future Histories, the first national repository for African, Asian and Caribbean performing arts in the UK. She worked for many organisations including LIFT, Tamasha Theatre Company, and was advisor of Arts Council England.

Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/-news/citizens-ue/seven-sisters-cities-around-the-world/


Written by davidfranchi

December 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Ute Lemper – London Jazz Festival 2010

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Last 2010 London Jazz Festival in Weimar


It was an outstanding Ute Lemper in her show “Last Tango in Berlin” at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, last 11th December. Ute Lemper, German singer and actress, has really pleased the audience composed of many different nationalities and of different ages.

The German artist apologised for the concert which was supposed to be held on the last November, during the London Jazz Festival, but for her health problem needed to be postponed. Beside she looked to be in a great shape. Ute Lemper is very famous all over the world. Her shows are always built on cabaret style and proposes a travel around the world in which music purely comes from the period between the two World Wars.

The concert celebrated a travel from Bilbao in Spain, passing through Lisboa, landing in Buenos Aires to find tangos and the main composer Astor Piazzolla. And then arrived to the existentialist Paris of the Belgian author Jacques Brel, proceeding to the final destination: Berlin and the unmissable Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. A wonderful encore with Edith Piaf ended the concert. The gig was made of two sets with no support act. On a stage black clothed Ute Lemper overwhelmed the audience with her powerful and tone variegated voice. She wore evening dresses, a magnificent one green in the first gig set and then get changed with another superb one red coloured. Her presence on the stage captures people’s eyes, as she dances, makes some jokes and leaves her sensuality slightly showing through during the performance. The concert lasted for almost 3 hours and at the end it was surprising that time passed so quickly.

With her on the stage two talented and experienced musician, Hector “Tito” Castro on the bandoneon and Vana Gierig on the piano. Ute Lemper is worldwide known also for her theatre and cinema performances. Born in Munster (Germany), the 7th July 1963, she began to sing in a punk rock band. Later, she is graduated from Dance Academy in Cologne and from Max Reinhardt Seminary Drama School in Vienna. She began her carrier in Berlin in the 1980s recording new versions of the typical German music of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.  Mostly she was an interpretative singer but in 2003 she started to songwriting and from those year she turned into a singer-songwriter. Billboard named Ute Lemper “Crossover Artist of the Year” for 1993/1994. She is, in fact, a prolific recording artist with an extensive discography. Beside she also has many diverse credits including musicals, movies and also dubbed the singing voice of Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” for German-speaking audiences. And Ute Lemper is also a painter in the neoclassical style and her paintings have been showcased in numerous galleries. Lemper, a mother of three, resides in Manhattan, New York City, like her tutelary deity Kurt Weill, but she expatriated by choice and is hesitant ever to move back to Germany, but she revisits her culture fearlessly and brilliantly. “As a performer,” she says, “I like to breathe and live inside the centres of chaos in the worlds of today and yesterday. The longing for a place of harmony and the search for spiritual freedom lives through my new stories and melodies. I will always, though, keep Berlin alive with contemporary and nostalgic eyes,” she reminds us, “as the lust and anarchy of Weimar shall live forever.”

Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/eventes-great-britain-%28london%29/show/last-2010-london-jazz-festival-in-weimar/ 

Written by davidfranchi

December 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Camden Town Group – National Portrait Gallery

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Beyond the Camden Town Group.

Friday, 10th December 2010 – David Franchi

“Camden Town and Beyond” remarks the homonymous group of artists contribute to the English modern art, at the National Portrait Gallery until the 31st August 2011. 

This fascinating display celebrates the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Camden Town Group that was composed by English Post-Impressionist artists active during the years 1911-1913.

The display also explores the consequent development of British post-impressionist ideas and style through portraits.

This display also showcases three important portraits purchased in recent times by the National Portrait Gallery.

Tailored on the major members of the group, the display is an opportunity to look at this group of artists from a different point of view.

In 1908 critic Frank Rutter created the “Allied Artists Association” (AAA), a group separate from the Royal Academy artistic societies and inspired to the French “Salon des Indépendants”.

Many of the artists who became part of the Camden Town Group exhibited with the AAA.

The painter Walter Sickert, whose presence and example were motivating forces for the group, rented several studios in Camden, the area of north-west London, where the group often gathered.

According to Bayes the group was titled ‘Camden Town’ because Sickert declared that “the district had been so watered with his tears that something important must sooner or later spring from its soil”.

The members list was closed to 16 as follow: Walter Sickert, Robert Bevan, Malcolm Drummond, Harold Gilman, Charles Ginner, Spencer Frederick Gore, James Dickson Innes, Augustus John, Henry Lamb, Wyndham Lewis, J.B. Manson, Lucien Pissarro (the son of French painter Camille Pissarro), William Ratcliffe, John Doman Turner. When Maxwell Gordon Lightfoot died, Duncan Grant replaced him.

The artists of the Camden Town Group were united by their fascination with depicting ordinary life. Their austere and ordinary subjects consisted of shabby interiors, portraits of friends and models in humble settings, domestic still-lifes and views of London streets.

Several members developed an innovative use of bold colour and fragmented brushwork. Despite some shared characteristics, the members of the group embraced a range of approaches and subsequently developed divergent styles.

The three portraits shown at the Gallery for the first time are Harold Gilman’s portrait of Spencer Gore, who was the group’s first president. A second portrait is “Supper” the Mark Gertler’s sensuous portrait of Natalie Denny, a renowned beauty, artists’ muse and, later, an influential society hostess. The third one is Gilman’s outstanding portrait of the painter Stanislawa Bevan.

The display of the two portraits of Stanislawa Bevan, one by Gilman with another one by Robert Bevan, is of particular importance. During her lifetime Stanislawa Bevan was prevented from joining the Camden Town Group because she was a woman. This display now recognises her as a key figure in the circle of artists.

National Portrait Gallery acquired these three new portraits through the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme that enables taxpayers to transfer important works of art, and other heritage objects, into public ownership while paying Inheritance Tax. The taxpayer is given the full open market value of the item.

The Acceptance in Lieu scheme is administered by MLA on behalf of the Government and it is one of the most important means of enriching collections of public museums, libraries and archival offices.

In this instance, the executors of the estate of Natalie Bevan offered the portraits on condition that the works were allocated to the National Portrait Gallery.

The Camden Town Group involvement with ordinary life and experimentation with new means of expression left a significant artistic legacy in Britain.

Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/entertaiment/arts/-beyond-the-camden-town-group./

Written by davidfranchi

December 11, 2010 at 1:53 am

Aware: Art Fashion Identity – Royal Academy of Arts

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Aware of clothes and identity at Royal Academy of Arts. 

Thursday, 2nd December 2010 – David Franchi

“GSK Contemporary –Aware: Art Fashion Identity” opens at the Royal Academy of Arts from the 2nd December until the next 30th January.

It will be a success, not only for the works of art on display but because of the underlie concept which is ‘clothes’. This exhibition deals with artists that continuously have used clothes to express concepts linked to the context and to both individual and collective identity.

This is the third season of contemporary art at the Royal Academy of Arts. Curators, Kathleen Soriano, Gabi Scardi, Lucy Orta and Edith Devaney, pay credit to pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, for supporting exhibitions for these three seasons, and to womenswear brand Bastyan, for their help of Salon Talks.

Aware exhibition, in fact, includes a series of salon talks, a symposium at London College of Fashion, family days and architecture walks.

Clothes have always been a primary reference to identity, they are shelter, an element fundamental to physical survival, an interface between self and others, between what we are and what we wish to reveal of ourselves. Clothes are nucleus of many artists research and relate to new contexts and new values, social environment and their transformation.

The exhibition consists in four sections. The first, “Storytelling”, deals with the depiction clothes make of personal and cultural history. Being the show on the first floor, at the middle on the staircase we can meet the fascinating Grayson Perry’s Artist’s Robe’ (2004), an embroidered silk brocade, leather, printed linen and ceramic button. It is a combination of historical references of the traditional kimono, the notion of clothing and uniform of secret society.

In the first room, notably Marie Ange Guilleminot’s ‘Kimono memories’ (2005) inspired to belongings of victims of Hiroshima atomic bombing.

Another piece is ‘A –Z Fibre form Uniforms’ by Andrea Zittel (2003-06) an example of artist’s preoccupation of creating uniforms for different tasks.

The second section, “Building”, covers the concept of clothing being used as a form of protection and the notion of carrying one’s own shelter, referring to nomadic, portable nature of modern life.

Maria Papadimitriou’s ‘Sewing together’ is a result of the experience of the artist in working with a community of Greek Roma. It is a symbolic cloth linked to tradition and beliefs.

Following is ‘Shelter Me 1‘ (2005) by Mella Jaarsma a Dutch artist migrated to Indonesia whose work reflects the process to adapt to a new environment lifestyle and traditions.

The third gallery “Belonging and Confronting” examines ideas of nationality as well as displacement and political and social confrontation.

Here the witty video installation ‘Chic Point’ (2003) by Palestinian artist Sharif Waked, transforming in a fashion catwalk the humiliating experience at the Israeli check point, where clothes must be taken off for security purposes.

Remarkable the Yinka Shonibare MBE ‘Little rich girls’ (2010) commissioned especially for this exhibition. Shonibare continued is exploration of post colonial Africa and worked with well known tailor Chris Stevens. They created 18 designs based on 19th century children’s dress, made of wax – printed cotton batik fabric.

The final section, “Performance”, deepen the roles that fashion and clothing play in our daily life. This is maybe the most remarkable section.

Opening with Alexander McQueen’s ‘Red lace dress covering head from Joan – Autumn Winter Collection 1998-99’ one of the most pictured work of the fashion designer who suicide just few months ago.

Aside of it there is the appealingly ‘Marcello who arrives by train’ (2001) by Marcello Maloberti, a four piece photographs taken in an Algerian barber’s in Milan where expatriates men in red clocks are familiarizing in their own culture environment.

Following a space for Gillian Wearing’s ‘Sixty minute silence’ (1996). This video piece examines the authority of clothing and dynamic of group. People dressed in police uniforms are arranged in the ranked pose. As time elapses they start to squirm and individuality of each one of them emerges.

Another piece commissioned especially for this exhibition is the Hussein Chalayan ‘Son of Souzi Surn’ (2010) which presents a new dress inspired by the Japanese tradition of Bunraku puppet theatre. Chalayan – who with McQueen exploded on the scene in the mid 90’s – in this installation examines the manipulation of the fashion industry.

Next is the Andreas Gursky’s ‘Kuwait stock exchange I’ (2007) a digitally manipulated photograph of Kuwait stock exchange workers wearing traditional Arabian thab robe and ghutra head dress creating an undistinguished mass of individuals.

Also on view the outstandingly film footage of Yoko Ono’s performance of ‘Cut Piece’ at Carnegie Recital Hall, New York (1965) for which the artist invited the public to cut strips from her clothing. While the scraps of fabric fall to the floor, the unveiling of the female body suggests the total destruction of the barriers imposed by convention.

Additionally another famous film footage of the Marina Abramovic ’Imponderabilia’ (1977, re-enacted in 2010). At an exhibition opening in June 1977 at the Museum of the Galleria d’Arte Moderna Bologna, Marina Abramovic and performer artist Ulay stood naked at the side of an entrance opposite each other, kept staring each other like statues. The people streaming in had to squeeze one by one through the gap between the two, unable to avoid physical contact. The two artists are forming a physical frame, confronting the involuntary participants passing through the “birth canal” with the decision which side to face, exposing them all to an unfamiliar own bodies sensation between shame and an awareness and to close physical contact with another human being which is generally considered disturbing between strangers.

A interesting exhibition this one. Though something seems to be not really well –blended, but more working in spots, it really worth to pay a visit.

photo: Royal Academy of Arts.

Published for: www.italoeuroepo.co.uk

Direct Link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/eventes-great-britain-%28london%29/show/aware:-art-fashion-identity-%e2%80%93-royal-academy-of-arts/

Written by davidfranchi

December 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm

“Hurried steps” – Italian Cultural Institute of London

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Steps against domestic violence.

Tuesday, 30th November 2010 – David Franchi


It was an interesting “Hurried steps” much applauded from the audience at the Italian Cultural Institute of London, last 27th November.

Directed by Nicolette Kay, the show was a theatre play from the original Italian book “Passi affrettati” – translated by Sharon Wood – written by Dacia Maraini forAmnesty International in the frame of a cultural and educational project.

Briefly introduced by Mr. Carlo Presenti, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, the show was a lecture of passages, marvellously interpreted by actors Eugenia Caruso, Mariam Haque, Peter Marinker, Lynsey Murrell and Anthony Ofoegbu.

It is a mix of short stories, mostly coming from real tales, concerning women and violence. Everywhere in the world women are subject to violence as a consequence of tradition, unwanted marriage, violent family or discrimination.

In different forms it is something affecting all the countries of the world fromAsia to Middle East, from Africa to America and to our ‘civilised’ Europe.

Dacia Maraini described the pain of women from different parts of the world who are offended as human being. It is a piece on seven portraits of women that shows the absurd situation of many of them, seven icons of fear and pain, of indignity and brutality.

But how come that this show was played in UK? Director Nicolette Kay explains: “Dacia asked me if I would direct it in the UK because I’ve directed three of her plays. I went to meet her in Paris. When I saw action in Paris I was in ‘La Banlieue’ – the suburban area Ed. – which is a very very disadvantaged area of Paris. I read the piece before in English and I was really thinking necessarily I do it. But when I saw young people who are obviously very ‘rough’, from the ‘wrong side’ of town I saw their response to the play in French and I realised it was a brilliant piece of writing. So I chose it because of the writing.”

Women’s freedom is an inalienable right. We cannot discuss about it. Violence roots go profoundly into our culture and the way our society is organised. Violence affect anyone, women firstly but children too and men in different forms as well, either a single person or a group. Women are all of us: if they are free from violence anyone of us is free. That’s why there is an unavoidable need to stop this situation and proceed to a new kind of society.

“Hurried steps” was written to be followed by a discussion. At the Italian Cultural Institute the panellists were Nicolette Kay (Director), Meghan Filed (Senior Community Officer of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Community Safety Team), Ruth Lacey (Family Support Child Protector Advisor, Kensington and Chelsea Family Service) and Eugenia Caruso (Translator).

Many persons participated to it. Some of them brought their personal experience and it was proud of them to speak about it in an open session. Many different questions were posed and accordingly to all helpline should be advertised in GP surgeries with big panels.

An interesting hint is that there is Respect a helpline for men who cannot avoid stopping perpetrating and also Men’s Advice Line a helpline for men who experience violence.

Panellists made clear that domestic violence can assume different forms of abuse such as physical, emotional, sexual, verbal and economic. All forms of domestic abuse have the purpose to gain and maintain total control over the victim. Abusers use many tactics to exert power over their spouse or partner: dominance, humiliation, isolation, threats, intimidation, denial and blame.

“Hurried steps” refers to the main issue of why the violence is so similar in all the parts of the world, Nicolette Kay: “I am not an expert. My panellists are the experts. But what I have learnt from doing the play for a year is that it is to do with power and control. And that men when they wish to have total control or power they will perpetrate violence to their convenience”.

Dacia Maraini is born the 13th November, 1936 in Fiesole, near Florence. She is one of the most famous living Italian writers. She is the daughter of Sicilian Princess Topazia Alliata di Salaparuta, an artist and art dealer, and of Fosco Maraini, a Florentine ethnologist and mountaineer of mixed origins.

Her family moved to Japan in 1938 to escape Fascism but were interned in a Japanese concentration camp from 1943 to 1946. After the war, the family returned to Italy and lived in Sicily with her mother’s family in the town of Bagheria (Palermo) she describes in her homonymous book.

Not long after, her parents separated. Her father moved to Rome and at the age of eighteen Maraini joined him.

She was educated at Istituto Statale della Ss. Annunziata, a prestigious and privileged boarding school in Florence.

She married Lucio Pozzi, a Milanese painter, but they separated after four years. She then became Alberto Moravia‘s companion, living with him from 1962 until 1983.

In 1973, she helped to found the Teatro della Maddalena (Roma) which was run by women only.

Dacia Maraini has won many awards including the Formentor Prize (1963), the Premio Fregene (1985), the Premio Campiello and Book of the Year Award (1990) and the Premio Strega (1999).

Dacia Maraini’s work focuses on women’s issues. She has written more than sixty theatre pieces, staged in many different parts of the world, together with books, films and screenplays. She also directed movies and theatre.

Last 18th November 2010, the Foggia University awarded her with an honorary degree.


Published for: www.italoeuropeo.com

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/focus/culture/-steps-against-domestic-violence-at-the-italian-cultural-institute./

Written by davidfranchi

December 1, 2010 at 10:36 pm